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The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it will conduct state board examinations for class XII students in physical mode.

The state government filed an affidavit before the top court saying that experts have been consulted and they are of the view that it will be feasible to hold the examination, hence the state shall endeavour to conduct the examination tentatively in the last week of July.

The response of the government came on a PIL seeking cancellation of Class XII physical examinations in view of the COVID-19 situation. Several students had also intervened in the petition seeking cancellation.

Earlier, the apex court had clarified: "The Andhra Pradesh government cannot keep the students hanging on fire and that if there is "even one fatality" then the state will be "held responsible for it." The petition said that since COVID-19 numbers are fast declining in the state, the government can conduct the class XII examinations via physical mode successfully.

Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary (School Education) B Rajasekhar filed the affidavit on behalf of the state government. It also stated that there is no other reliable alternative to access class XII of the state board as in the state grades are awarded to Class X (SSC) students and not marks.

"The state board does not have any control over the internal marks granted by various schools to students and thus any assessment based on internal examination in the state may not yield accurate results," the affidavit stated.

It also said that around 5.20 lakh students will appear for the board examination and there would be precautionary measures in place, including holding exams on alternate days and allowing only 15 to 18 students at one exam centre.

It added that apart from social distancing and sanitisation protocols, one health official with medical kits will be available at every examination centre.

A Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari will hear the case tomorrow.

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